Daily Dish: May 24
Pirates outfielder Boeve is proving he belongs
See also: Tuesday's Daily Dish
See also: Today's Baseball America Prospect Report
though Triple-A Indianapolis outfielder Adam Boeve went 0-for-3 in
Tuesday's 2-0 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the 25-year-old has
been on fire since being called up from Double-A Altoona.
(which rhymes with groovy), a 12th-round pick of the Pirates in 2003
out of Northern Iowa, was promoted last Thursday and rattled off four
straight multi-hit games after hitting .333/.407/.478 in 138 at-bats at
Altoona. In his brief time with Indianapolis, the 25-year-old is
hitting .556/.579/.778 in 18 at-bats.
"He really just improved
his pitch selection and is controlling the strike zone better than he
ever has," Pirates field coordinator Jeff Bannister said. "And in doing
that, he's become a true professional hitter. In talking to
(Indianapolis manager) Trent Jewett, they really haven't found a
weakness in his approach in Triple-A yet.
"For him to be able to do what he's doing, it's a real credit to his work ethic and his patience."
into the season, Boeve found himself squeezed out of a deep outfield
that included Rajai Davis, Ray Sadler, and Rich Thompson--as well as
guys on the bubble like Chris Duffy and Nate McLouth. The Pirates sent
him back to Double-A, where he spent the second half of 2005 after
putting up .313/.419/.538 numbers at high Class A Lynchburg.
lot of guys would have hung their heads in having to repeat a level,
but he just went about his business," Bannister said. "He went out and
worked hard every day and things are paying off for him now."
work was important, but so too was showing the maturity to understand
and accept his assignment. While he has decent power--he hit 28 homers
in 2004 at low Class A Hickory--Boeve tended to get long in his swing
and pulled almost everything to left field.
"He had some holes
out away from him, there's no question," Bannister said. "He's a big
guy with long arms and he got really vulnerable when he started hooking
"But now, he's going with those pitches away from him
and using the whole field a lot more effectively. At the same time, he
now knows how to pick his spots, go to his strength and has enough bat
speed to pull balls to left. He's become a much more complete hitter."
De La Cruz Control
righthander Julio de la Cruz missed the last two seasons because of
Tommy John surgery and shoulder surgery, so he could be excused for
being a bit rusty early in the season.
But after giving up 14
earned runs in his first 13 innings at high Class A Clearwater, the
25-year-old Dominican has shaken off the rust in a big way. He struck
out 11 while allowing just one run on two hits over 7 1/3 innings
against Jupiter on Tuesday, giving him 29 strikeouts in 21 innings over
his last three starts.
"He was a little overwhelmed early on,
and I think he was more concerned that something injury-related was
going to happen again," Clearwater pitching coach Scott Lovekamp said.
"But over his last three starts, his command has gotten so much better.
It's great to see him blossom, basically out of him just creating more
of a comfort zone through getting more experience."
decided in spring training that they needed to put de la Cruz on the
fast track because he is 25 and had never pitched above short-season
Batavia, where he went 1-6, 4.37 in 2003. His stuff has never looked
better. His fastball was up to 96 mph two starts ago and he hit 94
several times Tuesday, and his 83-84 mph slider is progressing.
only thing he's changed mechanically is that he changed his leg kick a
little bit, which has freed him up more," Lovekamp said. "His fastball
has been very good, though he left some up in the zone last night. His
slider isn't all the way back from what it was, but it's getting better
and better all the time."
--AARON FITT AND CHRIS KLINE
Garcia Goes The Distance
Garcia wasn't perfect last night, but he was close. The Tigers
lefthander was the model of efficiency in throwing a one-hit shutout to
give low Class A West Michigan a 3-0 victory over South Bend.
was) the best game I've seen pitched in a long time," Whitecaps manager
Matt Walbeck told the Grand Rapids Press. "He mixed his speeds and had
the batters off balance. It was a lot of fun to watch."
needed just 78 pitches, as he struck out just two and walked only one
and faced two batters over the minimum in a game that lasted an hour
and 50 minutes.
"Every batter that came up, I knew I'd get him out," Garcia told the paper. "And I was throwing the first pitch for a strike."
type of dominance has been customary of late for the 21-year-old.
Yesterday was his second consecutive complete game and he has allowed
just two earned runs in his last 34 innings. On the season, Garcia is
6-1, 1.05 with a 47-8 strikeout-walk ratio in 60 innings. Opponents are
batting just .167 against him. He is third in the Midwest League in ERA
while leading in innings. He does not have a true plus-pitch, but has an advanced feel and is able to command three average pitches.
was signed out of the Dominican Republic in June 2004 and spent
that summer in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. He pitched in
the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last summer and went 5-3, 3.65 with
25 strikeouts and 14 walks in 57 innings.
• Athletics top prospect Daric Barton injured his elbow in Triple-A Sacramento's Tuesday game against Iowa. After I-Cubs infielder Tony Womack bunted a ball down the third-base line, Sacramento third baseman Scott McLain
charged and fired to Barton at first. Barton stretched down the line
and collided with Womack. His left arm snapped back, and the early
diagnosis is a hyperextended elbow. Results from X-rays yesterday were
not immediately available. "I feel like it's going to be a while (until
he returns)," River Cats manager Tony DeFrancesco told the Sacramento Bee . . . The Rangers called up outfielder Jason Botts
from Triple-A Oklahoma. Botts, a 46th-round pick in 1999, was hitting
.318/.373/.615 in 148 at-bats for the RedHawks. The 25-year-old
outfielder appeared in 10 games for the Rangers last season, going
8-for-27 (.296). To make room for Botts, Texas sent infielder Drew Meyer to Oklahoma . . . Double-A Midland righthander Brad Ziegler
returned to his old stomping grounds at Springfield on Tuesday, but the
results were less than the former Missouri State star had hoped for.
Ziegler, who helped lead the Bears to the 2003 College World Series,
allowed six earned runs on nine hits over six innings in the Rock
Hounds' 9-7 loss. The big blow came from Cardinals left fielder Cody Haerther,
who hit a two-run homer off Ziegler in the sixth. Haerther, a
sixth-rounder in 2002, broke out of a 4-for-45 slump by going 2-for-4
with three RBIs. "It's about time," Haerther told the Springfield
News-Leader. "There are two kinds of slumps: There's one where the ball
looks like BB's being shot out of a gun, and there's other ones where
you're making contact and you're having good swings and it's not
falling--and that's what I've been going through; a lot of sleepless
nights." Haerther is hitting .227/.303/.414 in 128 at-bats . . .
Rangers righthander Eric Hurley
was placed on the disabled list at high Class A Bakersfield with a
right wrist sprain. Hurley was 3-2, 2.82 in 54 innings this season . .
. Bakersfield center fielder Jayce Tingler extended
his hitting streak to 16 games Tuesday against Modesto, going 1-for-2
with three walks. The 5-foot-8, 155-pound Tingler is hitting .358 on
the year with 27 walks and just 15 strikeouts in 159 at-bats.